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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Philosophy Scare
Author(s):
John McCumber
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226396415.003.0001

The Introduction addresses the investigation’s historical methodology, using concepts drawn from Michel Foucault’s accounts of external pressures on disciplinary dispositives and Thomas Kuhn’s “internalist” account of paradigms and the scientific communities they form. The basic strategy is to identify the various philosophical approaches operating in America at the beginning of the Cold War and then to identify, separately, political pressures on the academy. The question is then one of whether the identified pressure would have disproportionately affected the identified approaches. Chapters One, Three, and Five thus discuss political pressures of the time; Chapters Two, Four, and Six discuss the academic discourses on which they impinged. The Introduction goes on to justify the choices of California, the discipline of philosophy, and UCLA as foci of investigation, and concludes with a general account of the transformative nature of the Cold War on American society.

Keywords:   California, communism, philosophy, Cold War, Michel Foucault, Thomas Kuhn, dispositives, paradigms, UCLA

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